Mike Budenholzer, Billy Donovan Win Coaches Association Award

Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer and Thunder head coach Billy Donovan have been voted the co-coaches of the year by the National Basketball Coaches Association, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

This award, introduced in 2017, isn’t the NBA’s official Coach of the Year award, which is voted on by media members and is represented by the Red Auerbach Trophy. The winner of that award is expected to be announced at some point during the postseason this summer.

The Coaches Association’s version of the award – named after longtime NBCA executive director Michael H. Goldberg – is voted on by the NBA’s 30 head coaches, none of whom can vote for himself.

Budenholzer, who also won the NBCA’s award in 2019, has had even more success with the East-leading Bucks this season. His team has a 54-13 record and – before the season was suspended – had been on pace to surpass the 60 victories that last year’s Milwaukee squad racked up.

As for Donovan, he has exceeded expectations with a Thunder team that was viewed as a borderline playoff contender and a candidate for a full-fledged rebuild. Instead of returning to the lottery following the offseason departures of Russell Westbrook and Paul George, Oklahoma City is 41-24, good for sixth in the Western Conference. A strong finish over the next couple weeks could result in a top-four record in the conference for the Thunder.

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, widely viewed as the favorite to win the official Coach of the Year award in 2020, was one vote away from finishing in a three-way tie with Budenholzer and Donovan, per Wojnarowski.

Sources tell ESPN that Taylor Jenkins (Grizzlies), Nate McMillan (Pacers), Erik Spoelstra (Heat), and Brad Stevens (Celtics), and Frank Vogel (Lakers) also received votes.

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10 thoughts on “Mike Budenholzer, Billy Donovan Win Coaches Association Award

    • case7187

      How is Stevens not on your list and IMO he should have won it he’s been dealing with injuries to just about everyone on the team and absolutely NO bench and still be a top 3 or 4 team in the East

      • Eric Lord

        I would put Stevens in the top 5, but I wouldn’t have him as the winner. I’d go with Donovan. The Thunder traded away their two best players & weren’t supposed to be anywhere near the playoffs. They could end up with a top 4 seed in the West.

      • wagner13

        Nurse has done more with a lot less than Bud imo. His bench is considerably shorter and he lacks a superstar in the mold of Giannis. I love Siakam, but he’s more of a secondary option on a championship level team. I don’t mean to denounce Budenholzer or anything, but I believe Nurse has had more of a challenge considering the personnel he has to work with.

        Donovan deserves extensive praise given that everyone essentially wrote OKC off to begin the season. It’s difficult to keep a team motivated when they’re “expected” to tank, especially in the competitive western conference

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      The only way the Rockets are underachievers is if they don’t win it all.

    • illowa

      Rockets definitely not underachieving. They’re changing the way of playing basketball.

  1. KnickerbockerAl

    Changing it for who ?? Rockets actually played good D last night. Small ball doesn’t win championships only games. Harden is a 1way player. Team will never win when your so called leader. Doesn’t play D.

  2. rap4life

    What is everyone smoking
    Without a doubt, how can u not have Nurse win the award
    If you need an explanation then you don’t know basketball

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